An economist's view on source versus residence taxation - the Lisbon objectives and taxation in the European Union

Over the years, countries have made considerable efforts to achieve neutrality in their tax system. Individuals and corporations in similar circumstances should face the same tax burden, and the tax system should not distort savings and investment decisions. Many countries have applied capital-export neutrality as a guiding principle and, so far, there has been only limited interest in moving to capital-import neutrality. Such a move, however, would mitigate the pressure on tax rates, especially for large countries, and would increase worldwide economic efficiency. This article contends that the EU Member States have a unique opportunity to opt for a competitive corporate tax system in the form of an optional "common consolidated corporate tax base". By relying on capital-import neutrality and an exemption method to address double taxation, the Member States could enhance their competitiveness and make the attainment of the Lisbon objectives more realistic.